Arkansas had a bit of a problem. You see, a bill passed that created something called “enhanced” carry permits. In order to get one, you needed to go through a special class, but it also allowed you to carry in places others couldn’t carry like bars.
Unfortunately, the day for the new licenses to become live came and went without anyone actually being able to get the new licenses. Why? No classes.
Arkansas will soon see guns in public colleges, government buildings, and some bars but not until those with a concealed carry license get additional training for an enhanced carry permit.
Scott Vaughn, the owner of Vaughn Fire Arms Training, has been teaching concealed carry classes for 15 years.
“I also work at Arkansas State University-Newport in Jonesboro and there have been some concerns about campuses having concealed carry so this extra training will be great,” said Vaughn.
Arkansas State Police held a public hearing with instructors to inform them of the stricter rules.
“As soon as the enhanced licensing is available, the instructors will be able to take the training which is an eight-hour course,” said Vaughn. “Six hours in class two hours on the range.”
Under ASP’s draft rules, the program will guide instructors like Vaughn who will then teach the training courses from the curriculum made by ASP for people wanting an enhanced permit.
I’m not a fan of requiring training in order to exercise a constitutional right, but if you’re going to have that and have areas that are off-limits, then enhanced permits are a good way to ease people into the idea of guns in more places. Concerns are met with the requirement that more training is needed, but in time when there are no incidents, requirements can be eased.
At least, that’s in theory.
Whether or not there are any rules ever eased remains battles for a later date. For now, I see what our brothers and sisters in Arkansas are getting and while I don’t think it’s ideal by any stretch of the imagination, it’s better than what they did have. It’s a move in a better direction, which is always preferable to the status quo.
By taking what they could, Arkansas gun rights activists managed to still net a win that will, ultimately, benefit us all as people with concealed carry permits will go about their day and do nothing wrong, maybe even save some lives. Every time a weapon is carried without incident in a bar or on a school campus, it undermines the arguments of the gun grabbers who are convinced that a shooting is inevitable.
So if you’re in Arkansas, go get your enhanced permit. Become an instructor, perhaps. Either way, take advantage of what you have rather than worrying about what you don’t. Constitutional carry is still a ways off in a lot of states, for example. You guys got a win. Enjoy it for as long as you can, because the next fight is just around the corner.